TPM Voting Rights

Husted To Appeal Ohio Early Voting Ruling To Supreme Court

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Tuesday that he will appeal a court ruling which restored access to early voting during the three days before the election.

An appeals court ruled Friday that Ohio must treat all voters the same as it treats military members or people who live overseas. Husted called the ruling "an unprecedented intrusion by the federal courts into how states run elections" in a press release on Tuesday.

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Pennsylvania Judge Rules Poll Workers Can Still Ask For ID

Updated: 12:05PM

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday issued a ruling on the state's voting law that will allow poll workers to ask for photo identification but will still allow voters to cast a ballot without subsequently having to show an ID.

The ruling strikes down two provisions of the law that would have required voters to without identification to show their IDs within six days of voting or appear before the county board of elections. The state will also still be allowed to educate voters about the new identification requirement.

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South Carolina: Laziness Not An Excuse Under Voter ID Law

WASHINGTON — A lawyer for South Carolina said on Monday there are plenty of reasons voters would be able to sidestep the state's voter ID law if a panel of federal judges allows it to take effect this year, but laziness is not among them.

While defending the state's voting law during closing arguments in federal court here, attorney H. Christopher Bartolomucci said voters could offer any number of reasons for showing up to the polls without a government-issued photo ID. However, he added, those who simply say they "didn't feel like" it will be turned away.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Casts Doubt On Voter ID Law

Updated: 4:15PM

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court cast serious doubt on the state's voter ID law on Tuesday, ordering a lower court to rethink its decision upholding the law earlier this year.

In a 4-2 ruling, the justices ordered the lower court to block the law unless Pennsylvania can prove it is currently providing "liberal access" to photo identification cards and that there "will be no voter disenfranchisement" on Election Day. The two dissenters opposed the voter ID law and wanted the Supreme Court to issue an injunction itself.

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Gary Bauer: Obama's Votes Come From Welfare Checks And Voter Fraud

Conservative pundit Gary Bauer, the former president of the Family Research Council, which puts on the Values Voter Summit each year, told the crowd at the 2012 conference Friday that it needs to turn out in great numbers to defeat President Obama's army of welfare recipients and fraudulent votes.

After his speech, Bauer told TPM "voter fraud is rampant in urban areas" and he expected that to help Obama.

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Bill Clinton: A Hard-Fought Campaign Is Patriotic

President Clinton joined House Republicans in breaking the usual tradition of avoiding political rhetoric on Sept. 11, delivering a campaign speech on behalf of President Obama in Florida on Tuesday.

Clinton started off his speech at Florida International University with a moment of silence for the victims of the attack. He went on to make the case that he was honoring the anniversary's theme of public service by talking recent restrictions on voting rights enacted by several Republican statehouses. More generally, he suggested that a hard-fought election reflected basic American values.

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Jim Cramer: Voter ID Law Will Disenfranchise My Dad

Updated: 4:49PM

CNBC host Jim Cramer said Tuesday that his father was among the estimated 750,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania who lack a state-issued form of identification.

"My dad, a vet, won't be allowed to vote in Pa. because he does not drive, he is elderly, and can't prove his citizenship," Cramer wrote on Twitter.

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Maryland Democrat Wendy Rosen Drops Congress Bid Over Vote Fraud Allegations

Wendy Rosen, a Democratic congressional candidate challenging Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), withdrew from the race on Monday after the state party confronted her with evidence she voted in both Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008.

Matthew Verghese of the Maryland Democratic Party told TPM that officials were alerted to the potential issue by someone within the party on Friday. After verifying the allegations by checking Rosen's voter files, Verghese said, party officials confronted her on Monday morning after she returned from the Democratic convention in Charlotte. She offered her resignation shortly thereafter and the state party referred the allegations to law enforcement authorities.

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Rep. John Lewis Connects GOP Voter Suppression To Jim Crow

CHARLOTTE -- Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) used his speech to connect President Obama's historic election to the movement that ended Jim Crow -- and said Republican efforts to suppress the vote were also a throwback to that era.

"I've seen this before," he said Thursday at the Democratic National Convention. "I've lived this before. Too many people struggled, suffered and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote."

Obama's race is rarely discussed much by his campaign these days, but Lewis offered a rare departure, describing the pride he felt in Obama's election as someone who suffered brutal violence while protesting discriminatory laws in the South.

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Democratic Rep. Karen Bass Takes Aim At 'Creeping' Voting Rights Attacks

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) warned at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday that Republican legislators across the county were attacking the voting rights that civil rights leaders have fought to preserve.

"47 years ago, in the face of opposition from those who said states should have the right to discriminate, America passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965," Bass said. "People of all races, religions, and backgrounds joined together and fought for that law because every one of us deserves a fair shake and a fair chance at achieving our version of the American dream."

But today, Bass warned, "one of the darkest shadows of the past century is creeping into this one: one of our most basic rights -- the right to vote, a right that we fought for and won -- is under attack."

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Obama Camp Fights Ohio's Move To Ignore Early Voting Ruling

The Obama campaign filed a motion on Wednesday asking a federal court to force the state of Ohio to obey its decision to restore early voting in the three days before the November election.

The motion was filed in response to an announcement from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who said Tuesday that he wouldn't set early voting hours until an appeals court ruled on a decision made by U.S. District Judge Peter Economus last week. Economos found that the "public interest is served by restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters."

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Pentagon Report Finds Military Voting Efforts Underfunded, Ineffective

The Pentagon's inspector general said in a report issued Tuesday that the federal government's efforts to assist military voters under the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act aren't working thanks to underfunding and ineffective outreach to younger military personnel.

Under the MOVE Act, every military installation that isn't in a war zone is required to establish a voting assistance office. But the Department of Defense inspector general tried contacting every one of those offices and wasn't able to contact half. The Air Force was the worst offender. The inspector was only able to contact 29 out of 74 offices.

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South Carolina Says Voter ID Law's 'Reasonable Impediment' Is Whatever A Voter Says It Is

Want to vote in an election in South Carolina but don't have a photo ID? Lawyers for the state say it will be as easy as explaining why and then casting your ballot.

In paperwork filed on Friday in federal court, South Carolina's lawyers defended the state's voting laws by saying anyone without a proper photo identification would still be allowed to vote by simply explaining what "reasonable impediment" kept them from getting an ID.

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Judge Sides With Obama On Ohio Early Voting Suit Despite Romney Attacks

A federal judge sided with the Obama campaign on Friday and ruled that Ohio made an "arbitrary" decision when it took away early-voting rights for most voters but carved out a special exemption for military and overseas voters.

In granting a preliminary injunction against early voting restrictions, the judge ruled that the "public interest is served by restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters."

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Judges Question Whether South Carolina's Voter ID Law Is Ready For Primetime

WASHINGTON — As news broke on Thursday that a panel of federal judges had blocked a Texas voter ID law because it was racially discriminatory, a separate panel was busy questioning whether South Carolina would even be able to put their voter ID law into effect if the court was to let it move forward.

U.S. District Judge John Bates posed a few questions he wants the state to answer before the trial wraps up on Friday. Pointing out that a decision in the case likely would come no earlier than Oct. 1, he wondered if South Carolina would even try to enforce the following month.

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